Friday, May 25, 2007


I'm back, yet again, after another long period of absence. Don't ask me where I've been or what I've done. It's confidential. Needless to say, it involves primarily a very large wedding present.

The wedding present is almost finished, only a few weeks left to go. I tell you, I've never knitted anything so large in my life. The wedding is next month, so after I present it to the glowing bride and groom, I'll post pictures.

I have tried spinning again. I bought a wheel about this time last year, a lovely Alford traditional. But I had run out of wool and with the wedding present taking so much of my time (I started way back in January), I hadn't had a chance to order some more. Besides, last time I touched the wheel in hopes of making some lovely hand spun sock yarn, I ended up with miles of this white stuff which is far to thin even to make lace out of.

I went down, a few Saturdays ago, to the Moss St. Market. I found, of all things, a bag of grey, mixed bread, washed and carded wool, read for spinning. only 100 grams, but it took me two days to spin it all. The best thing was, that it's locally grown sheep. Now, I'm certain you'll see me rant about this again and again, but I can't stress the importance enough of buying local products. Not only does it boost the local economy, but it also cuts down on pollutants caused by shipping goods over long distances. I always try to buy Canadian yarn if possible, and with so many lovely producers within a days journey of my home, I can find most of the yarns I need right on my doorstep.

Now, at this point, I should stop and tell you, I don't really know what I am doing with a spinning wheel: Knitting, I'm a diva - but spinning, well.... I glanced through a library book once. So when I tell you that I didn't measure wraps per inch and all that stuff, you have got to understand that I just don't know how to do that yet. But, I spun some lovely looking yarn, and even plied together. I thought, well, I'll just make it a little bit thicker than the other yarn, it should work, right?

In the process of spinning this, I discovered all on my own what I have recently learnt to be called Woolen method of spinning. I was delighted that I could let the twist travel all the way up into the fiber blob and still draft. I had only committed worsted spinning before.

The spinning went marvelously well, it was easy, fast and just plane fun. I spun and plied the entire bag of wool, confident that this sock yarn would turn out just right - No such luck.

It wasn't until I took out my trusty sock needles and tried to cast on, that I realized that what I had spun wasn't really sock yarn after all. It turns out that the marvelous bag of grey fleece grew into three balls of extremely chunky slub. I have bought artsy, fartsy slub yarn that didn't have as much variation as my creation.

Oh well. I'll sign up for a seminar in spinning at one of the upcoming fiber festivals. In the mean time, I am making a hat. A nice, warm winter hat out of my sluby art yarn. I CO 88sts on my largest double points (6mm), and worked 8 rows of 2x2 rib. I think I might frogg it as it seems a bit large for my head, and try again with 80sts. I have yet to decide on the rest of the hat as I can't find a pattern for your basic hat anywhere online.

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